Sunday, August 31, 2008
An excerpt from J.P's Desiring God's blog.
"My view of God was too small and my view of myself was too big. I misinterpreted, 1 Corinthians 13:12, "Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."...What Paul means is not that I will know exhaustively the way God knows me, but rather I will know accurately the way God knows me. The point is not that I won't have limits to what I know, but rather I won't have mistakes in what I know."
I remember studying through 1 Corinthians in school and coming up to 13:12 and not knowing what to do with it. John Piper here i believe hits the nail on the head. When I die, and stand in the presence of God, I'll still have limits to my knowledge, but what I know of him will be right, flawless.
I wish it was so now...come Lord Jesus!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
"But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
There are times when I think, "Wow, I've really missed something". I ask myself the question, "do you really believe you have a "better possession, and an abiding one"?
To often this world has a foothold in my heart. whether it's money, trinkets, health or whatever...
I look at the early Church, the people Hebrews talks about, and see that they JOYFULLY accepted the plundering of their property, and I ask myself would I? And if not what does that tell me about myself?
It's in times of trials that our faith is really tested. I can say that I believe in the sovereignty of God in the easy times, but what about the hard? difficult times? I pray that God would allow me to stand in the day of trials, and that he would continue to strengthen my faith in his sovereignty before i walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
May Christ instill in us the Joy of that "better possession" the one that abides even in the hard times.
"May God strengthen our brothers and sisters in Orissa, India. May he grant them Joy in the mist of their sufferings and persecution, for they have a better possession and an abiding one."
Friday, August 29, 2008
Whoever abides in me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing.
In the Gospel of John (the above quote) Jesus himself mentions "in me" and "apart from me".
"In me" refers to those who call on Christ, those who have placed there lives in his hands because they were made alive and responded to Christ. "Apart from me" = nothing. Those who haven't put there trust in Christ, regardless of what they can "do", in reality aren't doing anything.
The main concept I've been pondering over is that every aspect of our life is in Christ. Paul talks about "even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ..." (Eph 2)
combine this with what Jesus says in John 15 you get a great concept of spiritual regeneration.
The reason one can do nothing apart from Christ is that there "dead", and it's only in Christ that one is made "alive".
"In him was life, and the life was the light of men." Jesus is the only one who in and of himself has life. I as a created being have borrowed life from God, yet Christ didn't have to borrow life since he was life. Jesus life, is the light of men, or another way of saying it is 'the light of the world.'
That's why in the epistles you see the contrast of light and darkness, before Christ came we lived in darkness, but those of us who respond to his grace have been "transfered" into the kingdom of light. And that "light we know have is spiritual "life" because we are in Christ. Apart from Christ there is no life and no light, and you can do nothing...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The Charismatics today would do well to hear the words of there Commander today, that is if He is there Commander and Lord.
This brings a sobering reminder that one can move in "power" (prophesying, mighty works, casting out demons) and still not be a child of God.
The question that should be asked is not, "Do you know Jesus" but, "Does Jesus know you?"
Sunday, August 17, 2008
What is the fear of God? What does it mean, and what doesn't it mean? Thomas Watson in his book "The Great Gain Of Godliness" gives us some clues. The fear of God isn't a sinful fear, it's not a superstitious fear or a carnal fear. This kind of fear produces a positive effect, producing reverence and adoration of Gods holiness. It's a fear produced by seeing the glory of God.
"Fear is the leading grace, the first seed God sows in the heart. When a Christian can say little of faith, and perhaps nothing of assurance, yet he dares not deny that he fears God. God Is so great that the Christian is afraid of displeasing him, and so good he is afraid of losing him." -Watson.
"There is a difference between fearing God, and being afraid of God; the godly fear God as a child does his father, the wicked are afraid of God as the prisoner is of the judge."-Watson.
Today may we who are called the 'Children of God', show a fear of God that's in accordance with who we are in Jesus. That is may we fear him in reverence instead of in wrath.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The next couple of days I'm going to be reading
"The Great Gain of Godliness"-Thomas Watson.
So for a while I'll be updating quotes from his book, so far it's a highly recommended book to read. Heres just a tidbit to wet your appetite for this book.
"That the profaneness of the times should not slacken but heighten our zeal. The looser others are, the stricter we should be. In those degenerate times when men were arrived at the acme and height of impudence, and dared to speak treason against heaven, 'then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another' (A quote from Malachi)...Athanasius stood up in the defense of the truth when the world was tuned Arian. The more outrageous others are in sin, the more courageous we should be for truth. When the atheists said, It is vain to serve God, then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another."-Watson
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
1:5 “Look Among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
Habakkuk is complaining to God, and is asking why Israel isn’t being punished for her unfaithfulness to His Law. God Response is that he is raising up Babylon/Chaldean's to bring punishment on the nation.
13:41 “Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even
if one tells you”
Paul and Barnabas/companions, are in Antioch which is in the providence of Pisidia. On a Sabbath day they went to the synagogue, and while there they were ask if they had a word of exhortation for the people. Paul gives a historical rendition of Israels past, from Egypt to king David, and then proclaims Jesus as the fulfillment of that promise to David. Paul goes on to mention that the People in Jerusalem fulfilled the prophets by condemning Christ and had him crucified, but God raised him up from the dead.
“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruptions, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. Let it be know to you therefore, bothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed form everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about”
Paul goes into the O.T Quote.
Notice that what God said in Habakkuk was able to come about in their day, even though the captivity of the Babylonians was past…by about 500+ years?
What does it mean?
The Context of Habakkuk is one of unfaithfulness to the law of God, because of this God is bringing the fulfillment of the Law which is “the removal of Israel from Canaan.” Unfaithfulness is producing Judgment.
Paul here is using the Habakkuk quote in the same context. The people he his “exhorting” have a choice, believe in the fulfillment of the Law which is Christ, or judgment will fallow. Paul here is alluding to the final judgment which is worse then the physical judgment that Israel received at the hand of the Babylonians.
Paul is telling his Jewish brothers to believe in Jesus. Forgiveness of sins is possible through this man, he’s the fulfillment of the O.T Law. If anyone doesn’t believes he’s bringing upon himself judgment. Which what Paul tells the Jews in Acts 13:46 “…Since you thrust it aside (The Gospel) and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we are turning to the Gentiles.”
So the question for us is,
"what are we going to do with Jesus? are we going to reject him and thus bring judgment on ourself? Our are we going to embrace him, and receive forgiveness of sins that only can be found in Christ Jesus our Lord?"
"As for me and my house we will serve the Lord Jesus."